Are You Dreaming Big Enough?
by Alan Cohen
I saw a billboard prominently displaying photos of two bottles of liquor. One was a small bottle with the caption, "Regular size." The other bottle was huge, several times larger than the tiny one --its caption was, "Fantasize."
The only dreams worth entertaining are those which are far greater than the life we are already living. If we are guilty of any sin (Self-Inflicted Nonsense), it is accommodation. We hurt ourselves not by what we ask for; but by what we settle for.
When choosing a goal, be sure it is outrageous. If it is something you have already done, or think you may be able to do, you are thinking too small. Worthy dreams stretch us beyond our history and challenge our limits, calling us to live larger than we thought we were.
Here is a powerful exercise that will show you how to step into bigger shoes. On a piece of paper, write the heading, "Know I Can." Under the heading, write down three goals you are confident you can accomplish, and probably will, within a matter of time. Below that section write, "Maybe I Can." Then number 4 through 6, and write down three projects you would like to do, but wonder if you really can. These are the dreams that stretch you beyond your current boundaries, but seem within the realm of possibility. Finally, write the heading, "Outrageous," and for numbers 7 through 9, record the three most outlandish visions you can think of, the dreams that thrill you to consider, but you don't see how they could possibly happen.
The second part of the exercise requires that you read your list daily, spending about twenty seconds visualizing each goal (sixty seconds if you are inspired). Hold each image clearly in mind, and get the feeling that your objective has already been realized.
The exercise becomes even more fun as you check off each goal when it is accomplished. Your visioning will be met with miracles and support from the universe through avenues you could never have predicted. As you complete checking off the first group, the second group will slide up to a higher level of possibility; the "Maybe I Can" section will become the "Know I Can." Your excitement will further increase when the third group ascends to become the second; somehow the "Outrageous" becomes "Maybe I Can," and before too long, "Know I Can." Then you can add more to your "Maybe I Can" and "Outrageous" lists and watch them slide up like credits rolling at the end of a movie. Your only job is to stay focused, keep visualizing, and remain open to receive more than you once thought you deserved.
A recent Amway convention centered on the theme, "Think Big-Settle for More." Life operates according to universal laws which, if you tap into them, will transport you home like a mighty stallion. Life gives us not what we struggle for, but what we allow. You can come to the ocean with a thimble, a bucket, or a tank truck, and you will take with you the volume of the container you brought.
As I was leading a guided meditation I had a vision of a great light shining down on everyone in the room. The light was the abundance of the universe, the vast love of God, replete with infinite good and blessings. In the vision each person was sitting with a basket in his or her lap; some held tiny baskets, and others had huge ones. Those with small baskets were receiving a little, and those with huge baskets were receiving a lot. All was offered to all, and each gathered as much as they were willing to hold.
William Blake boldly declared, "A man's reach should exceed his grasp, or else what's a heaven for?"
Outrageous goals are valuable because they expand your belief system and carve wider neural pathways in your brain, by which your good may be delivered to you. Even if you do not achieve your highest goal immediately, you will attain far more than you would have if you entertained a smaller dream. "I used to shoot for the moon, and I hit the mountains; now I shoot for the stars, and I'm hitting the moon."
Be humble enough to admit that you don't see your highest possibilities, yet powerful enough to accept God's vision of your potential. Even our most exalted insights glimpse but a tiny portion of the big picture. In 1949, an issue of Popular Mechanics magazine featured an article by the expert on the then-new field of computers. He predicted that "by the end of the century, computers may weigh as little as 1.5 tons." I am now writing on a laptop computer that weighs 6 pounds-one five hundredth the size he predicted! The most exalted visionary of his time erred by a factor of 500! Imagine that the good you can receive is 500 hundred times more wonderful than you can imagine, and you will be taking your first step toward thinking for yourself as God thinks for you.
Alan Cohen is the author of the bestselling The Dragon Doesn't Live Here Anymore.
Copyright © 1997 by Alan Cohen
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